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Open letter to Florida Gators fans: Enjoy it while it lasts

Dear Florida Gators fans,

I'll keep this open letter to you guys short and to the point: Enjoy it while it lasts.

Florida is the defending national champion, the winner of two national titles in three seasons, currently ranked No.1 in the Bowl Championship Series standings, led by a quarterback who will go down in history as one of the greatest college football players ever to play the game, winners of 19 straight games, winners of the SEC Eastern Division for the second straight season and coached by a man many consider to be the best in the business. But and on Sunday -- a day after defeating Vanderbilt 27-3 -- all most of you can do is focus your thoughts on details that are, in the end, meaningless.

What's wrong with the offense, you're wondering. This isn't what I was expecting, you're telling yourself. Understand one thing, Florida fans, it doesn't get any better than this. This is the greatest time in the history of Florida football. Appreciate it. Savor it. Remember it. Hold it dearly. Take a picture and frame it forever. The view from the top never lasts.

There are five more games remaining of this season. After that, everything will change. After that, quarterback Tim Tebow will be gone. After that, Florida's current defense will be dismantled. After that, who knows, Urban Meyer could leave. Charlie Strong could leave. Nothing is certain except for one thing: Florida football, right now -- today -- is enjoying its greatest run in school history.

Why would Urban Meyer leave? Because of you, Florida fans. Because if this is what it's like to coach the University of Florida during the best of times, what happens when, you know, everything changes? Why be rich and scrutinized at Florida when you can be even richer and scrutinized equally somewhere else?

In case you missed it, Notre Dame lost to Navy on Saturday. In case you missed it, Notre Dame might consider firing Charlie Weis after this season. In case you, Florida fans, for some reason aren't worried that Meyer will consider leaving Florida after this season, you should be.

Consider this scenario: Florida plays for the national championship on Jan. 7 and Notre Dame fires Charlie Weis the next day. Notre Dame then offers Meyer $6 million a year. Do you, Florida fans, actually think Meyer will ignore Notre Dame if the price is right? What about job security? If Notre Dame can't win with Meyer, then Notre Dame just can't win. That's job security. 

Tebow will be gone after five games. The Gators' defense will be gone after five games. It seems unlikely, but even Meyer could be gone after five games. Don't worry about Florida's offense, Florida fans. Is it flawed? Sure. Does it matter? Not one bit. What matters right now is enjoying this unprecedented run of success. Pretty soon, it will be gone. Don't believe me? Just ask Miami.

-jo-

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While Gators fans have certainly been snippy with how things have gone offensively, it is out of a concern for the good of the team. It is saying, "if we can't move the ball now, what happens when we play better teams like Alabama or Texas?"

As far as the majority of the crap Urban has been given recently, the majority of it that makes its way to him comes from people like you (the media) not the fans. So while fans are complaining, Urban is not reading message boards and listening to talk radio. But what he does do, probably, is read the newspaper and watch ESPN.

Thanx ... I needed that.

Maybe half of the criticism it is coming from fans concerned about the good of the team. The other half is coming from what I call the Douche Gators. It's all about their needs. This is an actual quote from a Blog comment:

"We might be undefeated, but it doesn't feel like we are undefeated. Some changes need to be made so that we can feel better about what is happening with the program. I want to see the team win with style and showmanship every game. We can claw our way to a BCS championship, but it would still feel like a letdown based upon what was expected by Gator Nation in the preseason."


I really want to slap people like this in the head! HARD! I am enjoying the current run and have always been that way. As a somewhat older (class of 87) Gator fan, I guess it is easier for me because I remember when we were not so great. When we were great and had it taken away (84 and 85). I was there when Big Red taught us a lesson in 95 and when we finally did it in 96. Yesterday I was at a tail gate with a large (and crazy) group of long term fans and we just had the best time ever trying to enjoy every minute of the season we have left. I love your letter Goody. There are a lot of us Gators out here that feel the same way.

From the Orlando Sentinel, just expanding on my previous post:

"And it seems the Gators are starting to get a little testy. Maybe teams just get a little grouchy in November when the expectations balloon. When asked a pretty innocuous question Saturday about winning 19 straight and how some fans might have forgotten the streak's significance, Coach Urban Meyer asked a reporter if he'd ever been 19-0 at anything, then added "I can answer that for you, you have not." That's a pretty unnecessary shot. "

I'm undefeated on this blog. 1,900-0!

-jo-

Snapped at his 'biographer' no less!

#1 movie out in the theaters, (won't be in GAYniesville til 2011) is a movie about u GAYtors and life on campus, 'MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS'..

ok dude that is the 3rd time you have used that joke. get some new material.

i was in the swamp last night and just got back into town but i feel like the atmosphere in the stadium was very different from the reactions i have been reading today. everyone is saying that our offense is weak and frustrating to watch, but the crowd was psyched up the whole game and the outcome was never in doubt. also, you don't have to score 50 points every game if you never give up more than 10...

Jo,

Your killing me....please say it will never end! Tell me Meyer will reload and go for another championship in 2011!

All true Gator fans have a very deep appreciation for what Coach Meyer and Tim have brought to this program. Sometimes we are crtical because we DO care so much but I would agree that it is important to keep things in perspective. The bottom line is we all need to enjoy these, the best of Gator times. I do believe that as long as Urban is here that we will have a competitive team and that's all you can ask for. Number 1 teams do not grow on trees so we should be happy to be in the mix on a fairly consistant basis.

I'm worried that we will lose to 'Bama. It's not looking good.

But I have faith.... GO GATORS!

my money is on meyer over saban any day of the week.

Odd post Jo since I think you have been pretty fair in evaluating the Gators this year, meaning you've looked at the good and the not-so-good. One point you make is certainly appropriate now: we have lost and will continue to lose talented folks, like Dan Mullen. His loss seems particularly evident this year.

Yes, Urban will leave eventually. He is too good not to go to the next level. He won't go this year, though, because he isn't finished at Florida. If he does go, however, the Gator Nation will continue and we can always elevate Charlie Strong.

I've been watching Gator football for over 20 years and the past 4 have been exceptional, though the entire ride has been a blast.

My money is on Tebow...if I had any.

-jo-

FinsFan,

I appreciate your comments. I'm still going to evaluate the team. If you read my stories in the paper, then you know I've been fair and objective. The blog is the blog. I can do pretty much whatever the heck I want. That's why I like it and that's why most of you enjoy it, I think. The open letter was an idea I had after listening to the hysterical ranting of a Florida fan for about 30 minutes on Sunday morning.

By the way, "Paranormal Activity" is an excellent movie. Simple and scary as hell. You'll want to watch this movie with your head peeking out of the covers. Moral of the story: Whatever the circumstance, when your girlfriend shows up with bite marks on her back, it's time to go.

-jo-

I am actually a newbie gator fan. Maybe more than a year. I never enjoyed watching football until one day last year my husband told me that the QB of Gators was born in the same country I was born. It didn't really caught my attention right away but I happen to watch the half time report & conversation. Everything that they were saying were so impressive about Tim. I decided to watch the whole though I really don't understand the rules. As I open my pc I decided to google search Tim. All information were so good. To make the long story short, I became an instant gator fan. I always tell my kids that he is a very good example of a college student. He is every parents dream of having a son not because of his achievements but his faith in God and humility. As I continue to watch the gators every game I came to realize that they have a distinct personality and characteristic which is probably being develop in them by Urban Meyer. They are very good with interviews and behavior in the sideline is just very nice. I do give credit to their coaches for treating the players professionally despite mistakes. I have never seen the football coaches behave like Saban or Spurrier when the players commit mistakes. As a Gator Fan I have appreciated every game they played. Big numbers or low numbers they're still the winner. They're on top of the world right now. These are unselfish people that have decided to go back and play 1 more year to make history. Most of them could have signed up for NFL but didn't do it. Riley Cooper even bargained in his contract to be able to play in college football again. If it's another person Riley won't gamble of going back with chances of injury and having a bad baseball season. Tim on the other hand don't even think of impressing NFL at this time. All he wants to do is finish the season undefeated. All these people have worked so hard to reach this level. So to the media and gator nation, let's all enjoy this moment. College football and UF will never be same next season. Let's remember that the Gators were one of the main reason there's more people watching college football than NFL. We only have few more months.... This only happens once in our lifetime...

It hasn't always been pretty, but 9-0 is 9-0. We'll only have Tim for five more games and I'll enjoy them as much as I can. We have been blessed to have such a great athlete and an even better man on this team for a full four years. When he leaves us, he will be missed, but I'm not at all worried about our offense post-Tim. We'll be in good hands with John Brantley IV under center. The defense will also lose a lot of talent, but we've had some strong recruiting classes and have a lot of good, young talent ready to step up. Go Gators!

I think many realize that the way Florida's offense is playing now will likely not beat Texas or Alabama. Regardless, our defense will keep us in any game. I am simply frustrated in our play calling - it is really bad. UF has had success under center, but only uses it 2 plays a game. Why do we never have any roll out plays for Tebow? We supposedly have two of the fastest players in college (Demps and Rainey) - why not use them in a five receiver set and have them run fly patterns? The dive play can only last so long.

I agree that our cupboard will be quite bare after this season, although depending on the Pouncey twins (leaving for NFL), our offense with Brantley shouldn't be that bad. Yes, we lose Tebow, Cooper and Hernandez - big losses, but our defense will be decimated. Funny, I was rooting for Notre Dame this weekend to beat Navy solely for Charlie Weis to keep his job. I think its 50/50 Meyer goes to ND if UF wins NC.

But unlike our basketball team who will be extremely lucky to make the Sweet 16 within the next 10 years, our football program will not fall too far.

Would somebody please tell Urban that NOTRE DAMEs on line 1. and tell Tim the Philippines are on line 2. and tell Charlie that FSU is on line 3. Thanks.

The defense was gone after 2006 also, and the team was back on top in 2008. And this year, there's alot more depth on defense than there was in 2006, and alot of those 2nd teamers will be back next year.

Great post! Gator fans are now taking warm baths with candles and reruns of Tebow. How sweet!

Apples, your post leads me to believe that you're predicting a four-loss season next year similar to 2007.

-jo-

I thought you were a douche until I read what you wrote about "Paranormal Activity" and now I KNOW you're douche. VERY LAME MOVIE.... and an even more LAME "letter"

Go Gators!

It has been beautiful: 19-0...all this other blather is mere drivel..

no, I'm not predicting a 4 loss season next year because the returning defensive players next year will be more experienced than the returning defense in 2007. Players like Janoris Jenkins, Will Hill, Justin Trattou, Jaye Howard, Omar Hunter, Lawrence Marsh, Brandon Hicks, Will Green, etc. are experienced defensive players who will be back.

back to back bama lsu next year concerns me. for now, 19-0 baby!

RURALs not talkin 2 the media, real classy (after a win no less). Probably the begining of his EXIT strategy.
I think johnny b good senses it 2, with this article..
NOTRE DAMES on line 1..

Mich-Placed, your lack of imagination offends us all and your stale insults are embarrassing. You've got to do it with some style, my man. The editorial board would appreciate it if you tried again.

-jo-

As a Miami fan, you might think I would hurl insults at UF. Not True. I played college footbal, and have coached kids for 30 years. High school, 34 in a row 2 states. College average at best. Coaching, 8 championships that were great for the kids, made me feel good. You guys have had a fantastic run. @ titles in 3 years, All Americans, great attendance at the swamp, TT, Urban leading your team...its pretty big folks. This year might be different a tough 9-0, but heck unbeaten, still ranked #1. I would tell you this: Until UA or whomever beats you, until you do not play in the title game, you got to believe in your kids. Yes, being # 1 is fleeting, we never stay on top forever. You have had a great run, and if/and when it ends, thats cool, because it gives you the opportunity to get up and do it again. I know, we are trying to ge back there. Be pround of your team, and never doubt them....they have done some incredible work!! A UM fan

2 titles in 3 years sorry!!

The legend of Goody's Douchery is spreading far and wide. First Gator Country, now Michigan, next THE WORLD! This could be the next great sports brand! I mean if Dan Patrick can do it, just think! Goodydouche.com! It could be huge.

You guys are "seriously disturbing my calm."

-jo-

The Floridas, Texas, Usc's, Ohio states.. Etc, will never deteriorate like UM has.

Uf- Best Ad in the nation, top five fan base and accompanying FINANCIAL SUPPORT

UM- Kirby Hocutt? Pathetic lethargic fan base and financial support.

Money matters now, UM has very little of it. U don't build winning coaching staffs on the cheap now. And if you do it's because you caught lightning in a bottle and they abruptly leave for real paychecks. There is a class separation in CFB. UM isn't running with the big boys anymore. And no, the 305 alone won't bale them out. Florida just has flat out far more resources. Sure they'll drop off but they won't FALL OFF.

Certainly UF will lose some next year. So what, the success has been unbelievable. I'll happily cheer for them to crank it back up. Apples is correct, the 2010 defense will be better than the 07 defense.

As for Notre dame? C'mon Jo! Six million? Urban will go over five soon enough. The Irish are not "buying" there way in. His next step will likely be to the Patriots, not dismal South Bend. Recruiting from Gainesville is worlds apart from trying to recruit from football barren Indiana.

I realize your just speculating about the future but I think you're off by miles

Couldn't agree more. A victory is a victory, just keep winning and everything will fall in place
A magical year

Yeah yeah but you need SWAGGER and da U invented SWAGGER. UF does not have SWAGGER, therefore UF is an inferior program.

SWAGGER = WINS. Look it up!

Yeah yeah but you need SWAGGER and da U invented SWAGGER. UF does not have SWAGGER, therefore UF is an inferior program.

SWAGGER = WINS. Look it up!

Posted by: Sarasota_'Cane | November 09, 2009 at 04:15 PM

That was just funny.

That was a good one.

-jo-

Vince Lombardi had it right, and I'll take him over a still wet behind the ears columnist: Its not whether you win or lose, its how you play the game. And the fact is, my beloved Gators have played pretty poorly on the offensive side of late. If that weren't true, there wouldn't be so many of you trying to rationalize their poor performance. Undefeated only counts at the end of the season.

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